By Tremis Skeete
Building products than resonate with many customers are not built in a vacuum. We want to build products customers love, and that sometimes requires connecting with what real people care about and understanding from their perspective what problems are worth solving.
How do we connect with these customers in order to understand them? This is where identifying customer types can be useful in focusing research activities. Here is one way you can identify three customer types.
There are essentially three types of customers that use your software product:
1. The cold customers: They historically have not expressed a deep interest in using the product, and if they do, they rarely use it.
2. The casual customers: They use it more than cold customers, but they are not “in love with the product” so it is not a habit or part of their lifestyle for them to use it.
3. The core customers: The customers who found a way to connect with the product. They personally discovered how it could improve their lives, they love your product, and they do not want to visualise their lives without it.
It's only natural to focus on your core customers, because they have valuable experiences and stories that led them to being loyal to your product. That’s why capturing those stories can be valuable for developing other services and launching marketing initiatives. Core customers are the ones really using your product and can provide invaluable insights.
Regarding the cold and casual users, one can work to examine their respective user journeys and the thoughts and feelings they associate with it. To accomplish this, strive to do the following:
1. Understand the actions they take in your product
2. Understand what they think and feel as they take those actions, and
3. Don’t forget to ask why.
As a digital designer, remember that your customer's perception of the product matters more than yours - so as you dive deeper into customer data, don’t forget to explore how the perceptions they share can evolve your design process. In time and with enough practice, being mindful of these three types of customers can help you gain valuable knowledge to improve conversion and retention rates, and increase your digital product lifespan.
Tremis Skeete is a Product Manager at This is Milk. Click on his name to go to his Linkedin profile or email him to chat more about product management.
By Joe Triccas
*This blog post takes inspiration from my old colleague's blog post.
“All of us have a finite amount of effort, and a finite time to spend it in.”
The above quote from the referenced post really resonated with me and gave me an insight into something that was missing from my expectations of myself and those around me.
It is easy to measure time and assess how much stuff you got done in that time. What is difficult is understanding the level of effort you expended in that time.
We live in an ever-changing culture, with mantras like “Be Kind” being in the common lexicon, it really took me by surprise just how unkind I could be to myself when assessing my ‘productivity.’ It also highlighted that, in a mostly subconscious manner, I was letting this slip over into my assessments of others.
The crux of this challenge, to me, is that whilst we all operate to the same clock, we all have different pools of effort available to us. This effort pool is not only drained by work. Everything in life takes a draw on it. Personal hygiene, home maintenance, children, maintaining relationships, personal development, work; it is all of these that are taking some of your effort every single day.
Are we all just machines?
My mind loves an analogy, and the running race analogy fits the bill quite nicely here. We all have a different ability to run a 100m. Some of us can cover the distance in say 15 seconds, using less effort.
In this context, it is quite easy to see how the amount of effort expended can be different from person to person, even if they are all running the same distance in the same amount of time.
Riding out the muse
As with any art form, inspiration can take hold, time measurements can fade away and effort can seem infinite. I have encountered many developers in my years, who can find such a deep passion for crafting code, that they can very easily find themselves working into the early hours of the morning.
To more traditional creative endeavours, this is known as riding out the muse. You never know if you are going to have a period of lesser enthusiasm, where you are less productive, or patently blocked, so you must “make hay whilst the sun shines”.
Each person is unique, with a cacophony of pulls on their time and effort. Some people may be able to run 100 meters in 15 seconds expending truly little effort, for others this may exhaust them before they hit the finish line.
It falls on each of us to understand our limitations, work on communicating those to our colleagues and loved ones, and ensure that, where we are unable to sustain levels of effort, we have built around us a support network to aid others. Likewise, it falls on each of us to be open to each persons’ differences, not hold them to our own internal standard (in terms of effort expenditure)
Joe is a System Tester at This is Milk. You can email him here, or click on his name to go to his Linkedin profile.
This week, User Researcher and Designer, Bobby King talks to Tremis Skeete about sketch noting. Tremis asks him:
If you have any suggestions for future Three at Threes, or would like to take part in one, we'd love to hear from you -email us.
By Tremis Skeete
Lynn Pilkington is a self-described ‘accidental COVID entrepreneur’, looking at different ways of working and how to bring the most out of people using accessible working environments. This focus has been on fast-forward since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously training to be a therapist, Lynn is acutely aware of how everyone’s brain works differently. She has been passionate about developing workplace inclusion and diversity for years. But the onset of the pandemic has brought many of the issues she’s been working on into sharp focus. Learning remotely and digitally showed her exactly how inadequate some of the processes and models are in today’s world, where sending a link simply isn’t enough.
Taking inspiration from her background in community engagement, digital learning, accessibility, and equality & diversity, along with her own wavy and winding career and learning journey, she is now focused on creating productive ways to bring out the best in people in a new world of work. “The pandemic has offered an opportunity to approach work differently - to ‘Build Back Better’ with new methods, rather than sticking to the way things have been done in the past,” Lynn says.
“Mainstream working processes don’t cater for everyone, and while this has been a growing issue for many years, the pandemic has highlighted the flaws of the traditional workplace.”
Despite the trauma and tragedy of the past year, the pandemic has offered some silver linings. One of which is the ability to step away from the 9-5, desk-based, presenteeism model of working, and move towards one based on outcomes. This new way of working focuses on individual needs, embracing asynchronous working to get the best out of people. Lynn explains further:
“Reasonable adjustments made for diversity reasons should not just be seen as add-ons that allow certain people to work. They are good business practices that can have a positive impact on the entire business.”
Changing the way we work to be more flexible, inclusive, and diverse allows people to work around family, life, and individual requirements. It allows companies to hire from around the world, taking advantage of a larger talent pool, and making the most of their staff’s abilities and skills.
Lynn admits that the challenge to transform mainstream workspaces is a somewhat messy landscape. “To have a diverse working environment you need to allow for diverse personalities and working requirements,” Lynn says. “But inclusive working, starting with what each individual needs and what works best for them, brings out the best in people.”
There are plenty of organizations dedicated to inclusion and diversity at the moment. But the focus tends to be narrow, looking at individual characteristics rather than taking a holistic approach. What Lynn does is bring everything together, looking at the bigger picture to create a fully inclusive workplace that works and adapts for everyone. She will be working with This is Milk to support workplaces and learning environments to bring this to life.
With all the changes that the pandemic has brought, organizations can’t afford not to do it. As terrifying as it may seem and as big a job as it will be, Lynn feels that transforming how organizations work is too important to ignore.
If you'd like to talk to Lynn about creating a fully inclusive workplace, email her or click on her name to connect with her on Linkedin. You can find her on instagram and twitter @lynnpilk
Welcome our latest Three at Three. In this week's episode, Angela Prentner-Smith chats to Tesco Bank's Process Improvement and Development Lead Ann Marie Dockerill, about Process Modelling. Angela asks Ann Marie the following three questions:
Why is good process design imperative for business?
What do you think the key steps to good process design are?
Can iterative process mapping be applied in an agile environment?
We hope you enjoy it, and if you'd like to find out more about Ann Marie, click on her name to go to her Linkedin profile.
If you'd like to request a topic for future Three at Three, or get involved in one, we'd love to hear from you. Please email your suggestions to: email@example.com
Welcome to our Pride Month special of Three at Three. In this episode, our Engagement and Inclusion expert Lynn Pilkington interviews Mental Health First Aid Trainer and consultant, Davey Shields.
Davey is an independent Mental Health First Aid Trainer and consultant. He is also the founder of the charity MenTalkHealth which was set up to tell stories around mental health to encourage men and others to talk more.
This week, our Product Manager Tremis Skeete is back, this time talking to Labster's Martin Keane about Martin's career journey into product management and learning from his perspective, what it takes to be successful in a product career.
Tremis asks Martin the following three questions:
1. You have a background in marketing with specialities in international research and social media. As you progressed in your career, how would you say that your past roles prepared you for the product management role you have now?
2. You have been in roles with the titles 'project manager', 'product and project manager', and now, a 'product owner'. Could you share with our audience the distinctions between those kinds of roles, if any?
3. If you could list the top five skills that you feel make you successful as a product manager, what would you share?
We hope you enjoy it!
In today’s Three at Three, our product designer Tremis Skeete and our UX designer Morgane Tanguy, discuss UX and User Journeys. Morgane gives Tremis her take on the following questions:
1. When you want to understand how a user will use a product what's the first thing you do?
2. When you decide to focus your efforts on understanding user journeys, what problem/s are you trying to solve?
3.Why is it so important to understand the scenarios for when a user interacts with a product?
UX Designer at This is Milk
At the beginning of this year, I was lucky enough to be one of the twenty women accepted onto Women’s Enterprise Scotland Digital Leadership Programme. Back then I had no idea that the programme would have such a profound effect on me, nor that it would result in launching my very own podcast.
The Leadership programme worked like this: Over 6 weeks, 20 of us met once a week to explore a different topic. The subjects we discussed ranged from strategy, planning, management and persuasion, to diversity, well-being, resilience and inclusion. The sessions were facilitated by a different leader each week. Each one left a mark on me. It was a seriously inspiring collection of women.
As the weeks passed, my knowledge grew and I felt my confidence do the same. Being in the company of such amazing female leaders was helping me work out the kind of leader I aspire to be.